The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it will extend the deadline for our final decision on whether to list the wolverine under the Endangered Species Act. The Act allows for such an extension when there is substantial scientific disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data relevant to the decision at issue.
During the peer review process on our proposed rule to list the wolverine as threatened, we received a variety of opinions from the scientific community concerning the information we used to develop the proposed rules. Specifically, some peer reviewers questioned the information we used to describe wolverine habitat, and estimates of the likely impacts to wolverine habitat from future climate change. As a result, we reopened the comment period from October 31 to December 2, 2013 and received additional comments regarding the science behind our proposal. In response, we will be extending the deadline for the final listing decision by 6 months to further evaluate areas of scientific disagreement and uncertainty as they relate to the wolverine listing decision. We will publish a Federal Register notice extending the deadline for the final listing decision in January 2014. The new deadline for a final rule or withdrawal of the proposal will be August 4, 2014.
Copies of the proposed rules are also available at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolverine/.